Fans who purchase from websites other than the official UEFA channels could end up receiving fake tickets and in some cases, no tickets at all. Even if the websites are re-selling valid tickets, this is strictly against UEFA rules and could see fans refused entry to the stadiums.
Online brand protection firm MarkMonitor uncovered 94 unauthorised websites in just two weeks selling UEFA EURO 2012 tickets ahead of the Championships kick off on 8 June 2012.
Unauthorised websites selling football tickets are a growing problem worldwide as they can be accessed from any country, no matter where the sites are hosted.
The problem isnt just limited to websites; among the MarkMonitor findings were 1,058 online marketplace listings selling UEFA EURO 2012 tickets. These can also put fans at risk as UEFA has forbidden the resale of its tickets through any channel except its own UEFA ticket resale platform.
Charlie Abrahams, vice president of EMEA, MarkMonitor, has warned fans who have not yet got a ticket to only buy from UEFAs specific online channels, or risk being turned away.
He said: Football fans are unknowingly exposing themselves to huge risks by visiting and buying from these websites. Tickets could be fake or can eventually be proved worthless anyway, leading to disappointment for those turned away when they arrive at the game.
The total combined daily visitors to unapproved websites and online marketplaces is significant, MarkMonitor said.
Abrahams added: UEFA has put stringent measures in place to prevent fans from being ripped off or duped, but websites are still appearing all over the world at an alarming rate. This shows just how important it is for brands or organisations such as UEFA to be extra vigilant and take steps to monitor online activity.